It’s a new year and a new decade and a perfect chance to take stock of your current lifestyle and see what you can do to improve your health and well-being, and that might well be to shed a kilo or three.
Are you ‘up to pussy’s bow’ with Christmas pudding and custard?
Maybe you went back once too often for another helping of the yummy trimmings that made up your Christmas table.
Or perhaps you rang in the New Year with far too much bubbly and finger food.
Whatever way you over-indulged during the ‘silly season’, now is a great time to make a fresh start and not surprisingly, losing weight is the number one New Year’s resolution made by women in particular.
The New Year means nothing if you’re still in love with your comfort zone – Anon
I recently read an article by Shireen Khalil on News.com.au that revealed 12th January as the fateful day most of us fail our New Year’s resolutions.
This research was conducted by Strava, a social network for athletes, where they analysed more than 31 million global activities, which allowed them to pinpoint when most of us gave up on our promise to ourselves.
Don’t let you New Year’s Resolutions go in one year and out the other – Anon
I’m actually a big fan of New Year’s resolutions no matter how long they last and while some of us don’t make it past the first day or two of the New Year, at least most of us manage to clock off 12 days of success before we start to waver and I’m sure many of us succeed even further.
Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right – Oprah Winfrey
Making yourself a pledge and setting a date is a great way to draw a line in the sand to start breaking a bad habit, however, I understand why so many people hate making resolutions as it’s generally a change that is hard to achieve and maintain.
I think in terms of the day’s resolution, not the years – Henry Moore
Tips to help stick to your resolutions
- Sticking to any resolution is difficult and setting unrealistic expectations is one of the main reasons we nose-dive.
- Making too many changes all at once can also be a recipe for failure.
- Begin with baby steps and build on them or tackle one task at a time and you’ll have more chance to see it through.
- Write down your goals and display them prominently, like on your fridge, so they are always front of mind. This will make it feel more like a commitment and give you more of a chance to stick to your resolve.
- Be sure you know why you want to make any changes
- Don’t be afraid to ask for support to help you work toward your lifestyle modifications
- Most importantly, celebrate your triumphs (but not with food)
- You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve to make a resolution; you can make a fresh start any day.
- If you do fail in your endeavours, don’t give up, you can always try again.
- Set deadlines to achieve your objectives.
- Set mini-goals to help you reach your main goals.
- Meet your goals by the end of 2020.
Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending – Carl Bard
Good food choices
Exercise is vitally important for both our physical and mental health but that aside, you can make the biggest difference to your size and shape by controlling the food you use to fuel your body.
There are guidelines set down the world over as to what constitutes a healthy intake of food but remember you’re unique so it’s best to customise your food to fit in with your individual tastes and lifestyle.
How do you measure how much food you eat?
Maybe it is by portion size or perhaps you count calories?
Not all foods contain the same amount of calories.
- Carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram.
- Protein (animal or vegetable based) – 4 calories per gram.
- Fats (healthy or unhealthy) – 9 calories per gram
- Alcohol – 7 calories per gram.
Fat is almost three times the calories of protein and carbs so the portion size of fat should be much smaller.
All food is converted into glucose at varying rates to fuel the body.
If you’re like me and grew up being taught about the food pyramid, you’ll know it recommends cereals and grains to be the biggest amount of your food intake, then fruit and vegetables with fats being the least. That means your energy source would most likely be about 70% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 10% fats.
The American Diabetes Association recommends 60% carbs, 20% protein and 20% fats.
Barry Sears PhD, who co-wrote The Zone – A Dietary Road Map with Bill Lawren, believes 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats is the most favourable mix.
Sitting in the driver’s seat, you are in complete control and it is often a matter of trial and error before you find the best food fuel mix that gives your body the best performance.
What you do today can improve all of your tomorrows – Anon
Rather than chewing on a celery stick and feeling miserable, list the healthy foods you love to eat and introduce them into your daily diet.
A good mate of mine teaches her children that foods laden with refined sugar or that are high in fats or both are a ‘treat’ and must be limited but I have another friend, who calls a treat ‘trick’ food instead, because it tricks you into craving it more and more.
You’ll never find the right things if you don’t let go of the wrong things – Anon
How many calories should we eat each day?
I’d love to be able to have total restraint when it comes to my eating but moderation doesn’t seem to be in my vocabulary – I’m an ‘all or nothing’ girl.
Having been on the hCG diet I now know how to switch back to a 500 calorie day food fuel if I over indulged too much, which I certainly did over Xmas.
I was surprized at how much food you get to eat on 500 calories if you choose wisely.
- For rapid weight loss, eliminate refined sugar, bread, pasta, rice, cheese and dairy.
- Eat 100 grams of protein for lunch and dinner and combine that with a big salad with lemon juice as the dressing.
- Eat two pieces of fruit daily and drink plenty of water.
If you’ve been repeatedly triggering our sugar receptors and craving more; switching to clean eating will help calibrate your taste buds and your brain.
Nutritionists advise women to eat 1500 calories a day and men 1800 calories.
Dr Michael Mosley, the creator of the ‘5:2 diet’ recommends we start with 800 calories a day for at least two weeks and even longer. He says, based on a number of recent studies, people find it easier to follow and they still get the same metabolic and weight loss advantages as they would by eating less.
Intermittent fasting is one of the most talked about eating regimes at the moment and it is suggested that we not eat after 8pm or before midday, which amounts to 16 hours a day of fasting.
You might find it easier to take baby steps and slowing cut out the extra indulgences and more power to you, whereas I find it easier to rip the Band-Aid off in one go by going cold turkey.
Whichever method you implement, try to make sure you enjoy eating the foods you select and that way you’ll have more chance of sticking with your resolutions. These will then easily become new better habits and ultimately become more permanent lifestyle changes.
People can say whatever they want about the sport of body building but to get prepared to do a contest or even to get into decent shape, it requires a certain amount of discipline and it comes from taking a New Year’s resolution to a lifestyle. – US actor John Cena
Good luck cheers susie
Susie Elelman AM – Author, TV & Radio Broadcaster